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8 Yoga Poses for Migraine and Headache - Does It Work?

Yoga has benefits that go beyond physical fitness. It can aid with anxiety, depression, and discomfort, as well as provide quiet and tranquilly to your mind and body.


Migraine is a neurological condition that causes recurrent headaches that range in intensity from mild to severe. It usually only affects one half of the head and can last anywhere from two hours to more than two days.



oga Poses for Migraine and Headache - Does It Work?

A migraine sufferer may become especially sensitive to light or noise when experiencing a migraine attack. Other common symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and pain worsening as a result of physical exercise.


It is advised to practice all the yoga practices under the expert of guidance.



What Yoga Poses Can You Try For Migraine and Headache?

Tension and stress, which may be contributing to your migraines, can be targeted with specific yoga positions. Certain yoga positions can assist increase circulation and blood flow to the brain.


This may help to relieve any discomfort or throbbing sensations you're experiencing.


Here are four yoga postures that can help you manage your symptoms and maintain a healthy physical, mental, and emotional condition.

  1. Hastapadasana (Standing Forward Bend)

  2. Setu Bandhasana (Bridge Pose)

  3. Shishuasana (Child Pose)

  4. Marjariasana (Cat Stretch)

  5. Paschimottanasana (Two-legged Forward Bend)

  6. Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

  7. Padmasana (Lotus Pose)

  8. Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


1) Hasta Padasana or Standing Forward Bend

“This asana stretches and activates your back muscles, enhances blood circulation across the nerve system, and has an impact on your stress and hormone levels,” says Ashutosh Sensei.


Hasta Padasana or Standing Forward Bend

  1. Stand Straight with your feet together. Inhale deeply and extend your arms above your head. As you exhale, bend forward and down towards your feet. Maintain this pose for 30 seconds while breathing deeply.

  2. Maintaining a straight spine and legs, place your hands on the floor beside your feet.

  3. Raise your hips and tailbone, breathe deeply, and move your head to your feet.

  4. Return to a standing position by stretching your arms forward and up. Breathe out and relax your arms by bringing them to your sides.


Cautions To Keep in Mind While Doing Hasta Padasana

  1. People who have a lower back injury should avoid doing this asana.

  2. People who have cervical or any other type of back pain should avoid this.

  3. This asana should also be avoided by people who have spondylitis.



2) Setu bandhasana or Bridge Pose

This pose opens the chest, heart, and shoulders and can help you relax if you're feeling anxious.


Setu bandhasana or Bridge Pose

  1. Lie down on the floor on your back. Your knees should be bent and your feet on the floor.

  2. Extend your arms as far as you can. You should have your palms flat on the floor.

  3. Raise your pelvic region. Your torso should do the same. Your shoulders and head should be flat on the ground.

  4. Ensure that your thighs and feet are parallel. Your weight should be evenly distributed.

  5. Hold this position for one minute at a time.

  6. To come out of this pose, slowly lower your torso and pelvic region to the floor. Allow your knees to sink until you're lying flat on the floor. From there, slowly raise yourself into an upright position.


Cautions To Keep in Mind While Doing Setu bandhasana or Bridge Pose

  1. People suffering from ulcer and hernia etc. should not practice this asana..

  2. If you have neck pain, you should avoid doing this pose.

  3. It should be avoided in cases of back injury.

  4. If you have knee pain, skip the yoga pose.

  5. Avoid it if you have a shoulder injury.

  6. While in the pose, avoid turning your head to the right or left.

It is advised to practice all the yoga practices under the expert of guidance.



3) Shishuasana (Child Pose)

The child's pose can help to relax the nervous system and relieve pain.


Shishuasana (Child Pose)

  1. Kneel on the ground. Keep your toes together and spread your knees as wide as possible.

  2. Reduce your buttocks to your heels.

  3. Allow your body to adjust to this new position by sitting up straight.

  4. Lean forward after exhaling so that your head and chest rest between or on top of your thighs. Allow your brow to rest on the ground.

  5. Your arms should be extended with your palms facing down.

  6. Hold for one minute or longer, allowing your neck and shoulders to relax.

  7. To exit this pose, push yourself upward with your hands and sit back on your heels.


Cautions To Keep in Mind While Doing Shishuasana (Child Pose)

  1. Any back or knee injury

  2. If you are pregnant

  3. If you are suffering or recently suffered from diarrhea



4) Marjariasana /Marjanasana (Cat Stretch)

“This exercise activates your back muscles, improves your core, digestion, and blood circulation, all of which can help you avoid migraines,” says Ashutosh Sensei.


Marjariasana /Marjanasana (Cat Stretch)

  1. Come onto all fours, arms perpendicular to the floor, hands under shoulders, palms to the ground.

  2. Take a step forward and spread your legs hip-width apart. Inhale while tilting your head back. Raise your tailbone and squeeze your glutes together.

  3. Take long, deep breaths while holding this pose. Exhale now, and arch your back up while looking down. Hold this pose for a few seconds before returning to the starting position.


Cautions To Keep in Mind While Doing Marjariasana /Marjanasana (Cat Stretch)

  1. It is advised to exercise caution when expanding and contracting the abdomen.

  2. Excessive stretching of the body may result in pain and muscle strain.

  3. When performing this asana during pregnancy, only a gentle stretch of the abdomen is recommended.

  4. People who have a head or knee injury should avoid doing this asana.



5) Paschimottanasana (Two-legged Forward Bend)

This exercise helps you to stretches lower back, hamstrings and hips. Massages and tones the abdominal and pelvic organs along with the tones the shoulders.


 Paschimottanasana (Two-legged Forward Bend)

  1. Sit up straight with your legs stretched out in front of you, spine erect and toes flexed toward you.

  2. Inhale deeply, raise both arms above your head, and stretch up.

  3. Breathe out and bend forward from the hip joints, moving your chin toward your toes. Maintain a straight spine and focus on moving forwards towards the toes rather than down towards the knees.

  4. Place your hands on your legs, wherever they reach, without putting any pressure on them. Take hold of your toes and pull on them to help you move forward if you can.

  5. Lift your head slightly and lengthen your spine as you breathe in.

  6. With each exhalation, gently move the navel towards the knees.

  7. This movement should be repeated two or three times.

  8. For 20-60 seconds, lower your head and take deep breaths.

  9. Extend your arms in front of you.

  10. Return to a sitting position by breathing in and using the strength of your arms.

  11. Exhale and lower your arms.


Cautions To Keep in Mind While Doing Paschimottanasana (Two-legged Forward Bend)

  1. If you have an injury to your arms, hips, ankles, or shoulders, avoid this pose.

  2. Don't put too much pressure on yourself in this pose. If you're too tight to bend much, just do what you can without hurting yourself.

  3. This pose may not be comfortable on a full stomach because it compresses the abdomen.

It is advised to practice all the yoga practices under the expert of guidance.



6) Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

The downward dog can improve blood circulation to the brain.


Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

  1. Begin by getting down on your hands and knees. Place your wrists beneath your shoulders and your knees beneath your hips.

  2. Relax your upper back and stretch your elbows.

  3. Spread your fingers apart and press down. Your weight should be evenly distributed between your hands.

  4. Lift your knees gently off the floor.

  5. Straighten your legs, but take care not to lock your knees.

  6. Lengthen your spine and lift your pelvis.

  7. Hold this position for up to two minutes.

  8. To come out of this pose, gently bend your knees and return to being on your hands and knees on the floor.

Cautions To Keep in Mind While Doing Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

  1. Warm up before attempting this pose.

  2. Eat nothing for at least 3-4 hours before practicing yoga.

  3. If you have an injury in your ankles, wrists, or back, avoid this pose.

  4. Do not practise if you have heart or stomach problems.

It is advised to practice all the yoga practices under the expert of guidance.



7) Padmasana (Lotus Pose)

Padmasana, also known as the Lotus position, is a cross-legged yoga posture that aids in the deepening of meditation by calming the mind and alleviating a variety of physical ailments.


A regular practise of this posture, like a lotus, aids in the overall blossoming of the practitioner, hence the name Padmasana. The Lotus pose is also known as the Vajra position in Chinese and Tibetan Buddhism.


Padmasana (Lotus Pose)

  1. Sit on the floor or on a mat with your legs stretched out in front of you, spine erect.

  2. Bend your right knee and rest it on your left thigh. Make sure the soles of your feet point upward and your heel is close to your abdomen.

  3. Rep the previous step with the other leg.

  4. Place your hands on your knees in mudra position with your legs crossed and feet on opposite thighs.

  5. Maintain a straight spine and a straight head.

  6. Continue to hold and take long, gentle breaths in and out.


Cautions To Keep in Mind While Doing Padmasana (Lotus Pose)

  1. If you have weak or injured knees, avoid this posture because it puts a lot of strain on them.

  2. It is best not to attempt this yoga posture if you have sciatica.

  3. Do not practice this posture if you have an ankle injury.

  4. Don't hold this pose for more than a few minutes at first.

It is advised to practice all the yoga practices under the expert of guidance.



8) Shavasana (Corpse Pose)

This pose gets its name from the recumbent posture of a dead body. It is a position of rest and relaxation that is typically practiced at the end of a yoga session – a session that typically begins with activity and ends with rest; a space or pause where deep healing can occur.

Lie down on your back.


Shavasana (Corpse Pose)

  1. Take your legs apart. Allow your legs to fall open to either side by letting go of the straightening.

  2. Bring your arms parallel to your body, but slightly apart from your torso.

  3. Turn your palms up, but don't try to keep them open. Allow the fingers to curl in.

  4. To provide support, tuck your shoulder blades into your back. This is a less intense version of tucking the shoulders under in Bridge Pose.

  5. After you've set up your limbs, let go of any effort you've been using to keep them in place. Relax every part of your body, including your face. Allow your body to feel heavy.

  6. Allow your breathing to happen naturally. If your mind wanders, you can bring it back to your breath, but only notice it, not deepen it.

  7. Stay for at least five minutes. Ten minutes is preferable. Set an alarm if you're practicing at home so you don't have to keep checking the time.

  8. To come out, begin by deepening your breath. Then start wriggling your fingers and toes, gradually reawakening your body.

  9. Stretch your arms overhead to achieve a full-body stretch from your hands to your feet.

  10. Bring your knees into your chest and roll over to one side, eyes closed. For a few breaths, use your bottom arm as a pillow and rest in a fetal position.

  11. Bring yourself back up into a sitting position, using your hands for support


Cautions To Keep in Mind While Doing Shavasana (Corpse Pose)

  1. Avoid moving your body while in Savasana because it will disrupt the practice and feed your distractions.

  2. Make sure you're working on a hard, flat surface.

  3. Practice with this in a setting that is quiet and relaxing.



Pranayama is Also Helpful For Migraine

The regular practice of breathing exercises can completely change the quality of life that one is leading. It increases and enhances the quantity and quality of prana, thereby increasing our energy levels.


1) Anulomvilom

Anulom vilom is a type of controlled breathing (pranayama) used in yoga practice. It entails closing one nostril while inhaling and then closing the other nostril while exhaling. You should at least do this for 15 minutes daily After that, the process is reversed and repeated.


Anulomvilom

  1. Choose a sitting meditation pose. Close your eyes and keep your spine and neck straight.

  2. Clear your mind of all thoughts that are not related to the present moment.

  3. Begin by resting your outer wrists on your knees.

  4. Fold your right hand's middle and index fingers toward your palm.

  5. Put your thumb in your right nostril and your ring finger in your left.

  6. Close your right nostril with your thumb and inhale slowly and deeply through your left nostril until your lungs are full. Concentrate on your breathing.

  7. Then, with your ring finger, close your left nostril and release your thumb.

  8. Slowly exhale through the right nostril.

  9. Reverse the process, inhaling through the right nostril and exhaling through the left.


Cautions To Keep in Mind While Doing Anulomvilom

  1. Initially, practice anulom-vilom without holding your breath for at least 3-4 months.

  2. Maintain a 1:2:2 ratio of breathing, holding breath, and exhaling at first. With practice, you can achieve a ratio of 1:4:2.

  3. Don't hold your breath for too long.

  4. Sit quietly while performing this asana.

  5. Gradually increase the duration of the asana.

  6. Inhale and exhale slowly, rhythmically, and without making any noise.

  7. High blood pressure patients should practice this asana without holding their breath.

  8. Always practice after consulting with a professional or under the supervision of an expert.

It is advised to practice all the yoga practices under the expert of guidance.



2) Brahmri

Brahmri works on calming the nerves and soothes them especially around the brain and forehead. The humming sound vibrations have a natural calming effect. You should at least do this for 5 to 10 minutes daily.


Brahmri

  1. Close your eyes and sit up straight in a quiet, well-ventilated corner. Maintain a gentle smile on your face.

  2. Close your eyes for a few moments. Observe the sensations in your body as well as the stillness within.

  3. Put your index fingers on your earlobes. Between your cheek and ear is a cartilage. Place your index and middle fingers on the cartilage.

  4. Take a deep breath in and gently press the cartilage as you exhale. You can either keep the cartilage pressed or press it in and out with your fingers while making a loud bee-like humming sound.

  5. You can also make a low-pitched sound, but for best results, make a high-pitched one.

  6. Breathe in again and repeat the process 3-4 times more.


Cautions To Keep in Mind While Doing Brahmri

  1. Do it on an empty stomach always.

  2. Do not insert your finger into the ear, but rather cartilage.

  3. While making the humming sound, keep your mouth closed.

  4. Don't put any pressure on your face.

  5. Do not exceed 3-4 repetitions.

  6. Be gentle when pressing the cartilage.



3) Dhyana (Meditation)

Dhyana is a Sanskrit word meaning "meditation." It is derived from the root words, dhi, meaning “receptacle” or “the mind”; and yana, meaning “moving” or “going.” An alternate root word, dhyai, means "to think of.". You should at least do this for 5 minutes daily.


Dhyana (Meditation)

  1. Find a spot to sit that feels peaceful and quiet to you.

  2. If you're just starting out, a short time, such as five or ten minutes, can be beneficial.

  3. You can sit in a chair with your feet on the floor, cross-legged, or kneel—any of these positions is acceptable. Just make sure you're in a stable position that you can stay in for a while.

  4. Follow the sensation of your breath as it enters and exits your body.

  5. Your attention will eventually leave the breath and wander to other places. When you notice your mind has wandered—in a few seconds, a minute, or five minutes—return your attention to the breath.

  6. Don't pass judgement on yourself or obsess over the content of your thoughts. Simply return.

  7. When you're ready, lift your gaze gently (if your eyes are closed, open them). Take a moment to pay attention to any sounds in the environment. Take note of how your body feels right now. Take note of your thoughts and emotions.


Cautions To Keep in Mind While Doing Dhyana (Meditation)

Please avoid this practice in case of nose and ear infections.


It is advised to practice all the yoga practices under the expert of guidance.


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